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It comes with a plan to get rid of the password in Safari. And it could also offer hints at Apple’s plans for augmented reality, with a host of new graphics and gaming tools that could also help its plans to build AR glasses.
And it adds new “Continuity” features, which allow the Mac, iPhone and other Apple devices to work together. That can now happen with FaceTime: users can now hand off calls between different devices, and can also use an iPhone as a webcam, so that the call will appear on the Mac but use the better camera of the phone.
Recent Macs have faced criticism over the quality of their cameras, which has only become louder as the pandemic has brought more video calls and other reliance on the webcam. Apple’s latest update appears to be an attempt to fix that, but also to admit that the existing cameras in its Macs are not always up to the job.
Other changes arriving to the camera focused on the recently released Studio Display. That adds a tool called “Desk View”, which shows a person’s face and their desk at the time, taking advantage of the surprise wide lens in that display.
Apple wil also add some of the features that were introduced with iOS 16, such as a new shared photo library tool that lets people automatically let people in their family have joint access to their images.
All of Apple’s devices will get access to a new Spotlight search feature, too, which shows a variety of different rich information. Users can search for sports results or celebrities and get more information, for instance.
And new search tools also arrive in a revamped Mail app. That app will be able to find emails more accurately and add tools such as undo send, Apple said.
The new update will also bring a new feature called “Stage Manager”, which also arrives on the iPad. That automatically organises the various windows that are open on the device, showing them all at once without requiring the user to move them around.
And the update also brings future-facing features to Safari, including an attempt to get rid of the password. Instead, Apple will encourage users and websites to sign in with “Passkeys”, which let them sign in using biometric identification and do not store a password on any server.